Ten Valley students named National Merit Semifinalists

Ten bright students from the Valley have been named National Merit Semifinalists for their high scores on the preliminary SAT, putting them one step closer to securing up to $2,500 to attend college.

Two Fresno Unified students -- Marcus Missirlian of Edison High School, and Laurel Kinman of Fresno High School -- are among those on the list. Four Clovis students, two from Visalia, one from Fresno Christian High School and one home schooled student also earned the distinction.

Out of the 1.5 million high school juniors from more than 22,000 schools nationwide who took the qualifying test last year, 16,000 were named semifinalists on Wednesday,

Those students will now compete for 8,000 scholarships totaling $35 million. The winners will be announced between April and July of 2014.

According to a statement from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, recipients are picked based on their accomplishments during high school and potential for success in college.

Here's a full list of finalists from the Valley:

  • Marcus Missirlian, Edison High School
  • Laurel Kinman, Fresno High School
  • Emily Erickson, Buchanan High School
  • Jennifer Pretzer, Buchanan High School
  • Maxwell Lutton, Clovis North High School
  • Alexandra Alving-Trinh, Clovis West High School
  • Daniel Moore, Fresno Christian High School
  • Riley Whitsitt, home school
  • Jessica Bonnar, Golden West High School
  • Kelsey Thomas, Golden West High School
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